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Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Abduction of Education

Dartmouth alumni have good reason to elect insurgent members of the governing board.

The Dartmouth Review is not the official student newspaper.  It was founded some years ago with financial aid from conservative alumni who were distressed by the college’s precipitous plunge into the black depths of liberal-socialism. 

From time to time, left-wing radical students have confiscated and destroyed whole editions of the newspaper, ignoring not only the rights of free speech, but also the rights of local merchants whose advertising monies they effectively stole.  So far as I know, college officials have turned a blind eye to those rights, while lauding the radicals for promoting “diversity” and other such socialistic shibboleths.

A few years ago, when I asked a Dartmouth professor how he could justify this partiality, he declared emphatically that the opinions of the Dartmouth Review were not the sort of thing that should be permitted in an educational environment.

What he considered an educational environment is cause for a raised eyebrow, as a series of articles in the June 2nd edition of the Review demonstrates.

“The Path of Least Resistance” from that issue gives an overview of the woeful narrowness of students’ knowledge.  Dartmouth apparently is failing to impart an understanding of the culture and tradition that constitute our unwritten constitution.  Even a good left-wing atheist like Harvard’s professor Santayana allowed that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat past mistakes.

“Students Ignorant of Western Culture: Poll Shows Need for Core Curriculum” is based on a survey by Review reporters of 242 students that was conducted May 16-27 in Thayer Dining Hall. While not statistically comprehensive, the results suggest a disturbing lack of basic knowledge.

“The Hollow Curriculum” reveals that a student can graduate from Dartmouth, yet have learned little that in former times would have been essential for one to be regarded as an educated person.

“Two Roads Ever Diverge in a Wood: A Call for a Core Curriculum” provides a contrasting view of what education ought to involve.

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Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 06/05 at 10:16 PM
Education • (1) Comments
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